Legal English 22

Case Example: Officer Starsky stops Hutch for running a red light. After issuing a ticket, the officer orders Hutch from the car and questions him about a burglary which had taken place nearby. Officer Starsky does not give Hutch the Miranda warning.

Question: Is what Hutch says to the officer about his whereabouts at the time of the burglary admissible in evidence?

Answer: No. Hutch was ordered out of the car and thus was not free to leave. As Hutch was in custody and Officer Starsky questioned him about a crime unrelated to the traffic offense without giving Hutch the Miranda warning, Hutch’s statements are inadmissible in evidence.

21. Are Statements That I Make Voluntarily Before I’m Questioned Admissible in Evidence?

In general, yes. Miranda applies only to statements which are the product of police questioning. If an arrestee volunteers information to a police officer, the information is admissible in evidence.

Case Example: After performing a series of sobriety tests, Ina Bryate is arrested for drunk driving. As the officer is taking her toward the police vehicle, Ina says, "I couldn’t possibly be drunk. I only had a few beers at the sorority party." Before Ina said this, the officer had neither given her a Miranda warning nor questioned her.

Question: Is what Ina said admissible in evidence?

Answer: Yes. Ina volunteered the remark; the officer did not elicit it with a question. Thus, the fact that Ina had not been given a Miranda warning does not bar admission of her statement into evidence.

How the Police Can Benefit From Delayed Miranda Warnings

Crafty police officers may intentionally delay giving Miranda warnings to suspects following an arrest for at least two reasons:

· If they don’t question the suspect, police officers don’t have to give Miranda warnings. In the absence of the warnings, some suspects will blurt out voluntary statements that the prosecution can then offer into evidence at trial.

· Even if a suspect remains silent, the prosecution can sometimes use that silence against the suspect at trial. Assume that a suspect who remained silent after arrest testifies in essence that, "I didn’t do it." The prosecution may be able to attack the suspect’s credibility (believability) by having the arresting officer testify to the suspect’s silence following arrest. The prosecution’s argument would be, "If the suspect really didn’t do it, why didn’t the suspect immediately say that to the arresting officer?" This tactic can only be used, however, if the defendant takes the stand.

1、This tactic can only be used, however, if the defendant takes the stand. 然而只有当被告出庭作证时才采用这种策略。
2、If the suspect really didn’t do it, why didn’t the suspect immediately say that to the arresting officer? 犯罪嫌疑人既然没做,那为什么不及时向警官说明呢

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